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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Learning From Wiremold and Art Byrne

My friend Bob Emiliani recently shared a collection of videos from a research project he led on Wiremold's Lean transformation in 2001.

These historic videos capture an amazing event that took place on 5 November 2001, when a group of more than 25 executives, physicians, and department managers from Virginia Mason Medical Center (VMMC) made the long trip from Seattle, Washington, to West Hartford, Connecticut, to take a tour of The Wiremold Company. 

In the videos, the Wiremold executives do a wonderful job of translating Lean management from manufacturing to healthcare, and in doing so show how Lean can be applied to any organization in any industry. I have two key takeaways from the videos that I would like to share with you. They are:
  • The Wiremold senior management team’s determination to immerse themselves in daily Lean thinking and practice - for more than a decade - and willingness to share and help others; to teach others and to learn from others. These are typical characteristics of highly effective Lean leaders.
  • The VMMC team members, CEO on down, were willing and eager to learn new things. They recognized that they were not educated or trained for Lean at any point in their careers. And yet they did not suffer from the typical “I’m the doctor, so don’t tell me what to do” or “It won’t work here because we’re a hospital” mentality.
As Art Byrne says in the introductory video I encourage you not to find the differences in what we do but look for the similarities. There is much to learn from these videos no matter who you are - Board member, owner, investor, CEO, mid-level manager, supervisor, labor leader, politician, journalist, academic, student, etc. Art says we can all generate a list of "but, but, but, but,..." reasons why it can't be done however we need to find the "least waste" way of doing things.

I encourage you to review these unedited videos from Bob Emiliani's research on Lean.  If you want even further study I recommend you get a copy of Better Thinking, Better Results. In this book Bob, covers this research on Wiremold's Lean transformation. It is often used as a handbook by executives in companies of all sizes, in nearly every industry, to assist their Lean transformation.

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1 comment:

  1. This video great for a Wiremold i really like it These are typical characteristics of highly effective Lean leaders for us .thanks to blog